March 29, 2015


F1 was left for dead after the Australian GP, mired in murky legal squabbles off track, terrible reliability on track and news of the cancellation of the German Grand Prix because of lack of interest.

The F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone publicly blaming the ills of F1 on boring drivers while touting Lewis Hamilton's "lifestyle", rather than his driving, as the model for the F1 champion of the moment.  Vettel, his occasional backgammon partner?  Bit boring.

But, in Malaysia, Sebastian and Ferrari gave Bernie and the sport the best possible gift by doing what no other team has been able to do in 20 races, beat Mercedes on pure pace and strategy.

For Ferrari it's the first win in 34 races.

What satisfaction it must be for a team that has had the courage to go through what must be one of the most radical restructuring in the sport's memory.

Despite being casually described as looking like an American movie mafioso or a "petulant, tobacco peddling marketing "guru",with the menace of a Bond villain,   Maurizio Arrivabene seems to have created a great atmosphere at the Scuderia, a podium and a win, the best answer to those media critics.

Vettel drove like you would imagine a 4 time champion would, cool, in control, aware of the big picture.  What a contrast to Rosberg. who seemed lost and Hamilton who appeared to get annoyed on Sunday.

Mercedes, a bit shellshocked, probably forgot what it's like to have another team beat them rather than  doing it all that "in-house".  Undoubtedly it will react.

Yes, it's possible Malaysia was bit of a fluke, track layout, high temperatures and all  but for sure you will tune in, two weeks from now to find out if it was.

Raikkonen had a unlucky but very strong race, confirming Ferrari's form but the other highlight had to be  Verstappen.  Man, the kid has got it.   Pass the popcorn!

One last thought for Fernando Alonso.  What must he be thinking?  Insert Asturian expletives here, for sure.  
Or perhaps, as someone suggested on the FB page, with Ferrari and Valentino Rossi winning on the same day, for Fernando it's 2004 all over again!

We kid, we kid...


  1. No more highlights videos?

  2. you got 20 minutes of it!

  3. Well if we have to cool down and think, yes this looks like a fluke.

    There were at the same pace or slower than 2014.. something that in AUS there were 2 second faster on 2015.

    It was really hot.

    The tire choice made by Pirelli is more aggressive than 2014.

    Still as you said, great drive of VET and Ferrari was on top of everything.
    Strategy, race pace, pitstops!

  4. Mercedes were struggling a bit this weekend. Maybe it was the weather but they were. Ferrari is going very strong now. I mean Kimi had a puncture, drove a whole lap on the rim and ended up 4th. Beating the Williams. Also don't discount Lotus progress. If it weren't for that touch from Perez (spin = lost time + massive tire wear), Romain could've beaten one or even both RBR. Which are laughably slow and officially behind STR. QOTD: KR "Can I pass all these people? they're not even trying to catch pace car" :-) Runner up: JB "We are actually catching up to some cars here!" :-)

  5. Great drive by Vettel to be sure.

    Bottom line: Ferrari made those tires last and that gave them the 2 stop (vs. 3 stop) advantage. The extreme heat played a big part in that and we'll have to see to what degree Ferrari can retain that tire wear advantage in cooler conditions.

    Verstappen made some great passes.That dive past Sainz was terrific!

    Thanks for the on board highlights!

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  8. I re-watched the SKY version (NBCsports can just go die) and the win hinges on the choice to stay out behind the pace car. When Hammy rolled into the pits I thought that would end up being a bad move, and it put them back behind much slower traffic. Some brilliant Ferrari stat guy had a good day, whoever made that call could see the time they could make up front.

    Hamilton and Roseberg were chasing from that point onward. Tire wear would have been manageable but they were forced to make up a second or more per lap on every stint chasing down Vettel, who did run a flawless race, and still has that finger problem, lol.

    And Kimi. Everybody is watching the kids while the old man just racks up the pass tally. I felt bad for him and then he just cut through the kids until he had clear track in front of him. I think in this big picture moment the appearance of the second Ferrari in 4th is the best indicator of the challenge they'll present, certainly they were dialed in here.

    We're in for a fun season, on and off the track.


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